WrestleCon: USA vs. The World
Date: April 5, 2019
Location: New York Hilton Midtown, New York City, New York
Commentators: Excalibur, Dan Barry
This is a new one as WrestleCon is running a pair of shows and there’s a theme to this one. It’s a pretty simple idea here and the name alone should explain things. We’ll be seeing some interesting matches here and WrestleCon knows how to do these things quite well most of the time. Let’s get to it.
If there was an opening sequence, it didn’t make the feed.
Emil Sitoci (World) vs. Brian Pillman Jr. (USA)
Sitoci was on the WXW show yesterday. Pillman goes right after him to start and sends Sitoci to the apron for a springboard dropkick to the floor. The fans chant for Papa Pillman as Sitoci sends him into the barricade. It’s time to wrap the leg around the post (Excalibur: “The ACTUAL hardest part of the ring ladies and gentlemen.”) so Sitoci can bring him back inside for a knee to the knee.
A spinning toehold sets up a Figure Four as Sitoci certainly knows how to work on a leg. Pillman grabs a rope and they chop it out with a powerslam getting two on Sitoci. A superplex attempt is broken up and Pillman nails a high crossbody to a big reaction. The knee to the jaw sets up a swinging neckbreaker for the pin on Sitoci at 7:55.
Rating: C. Pillman has a lot of potential and is already looking better than he should. He’s been a regular in MLW and right now he’s just in need of ring time. I hadn’t seen Sitoci before yesterday and he’s been a rather nice surprise. He’s not great or someone I want to see being signed to WWE, but he seems to be quite the star in WXW and wherever else he works.
USA – 1
World – 0
Maxwell Jacob Friedman (USA) vs. Ethan Page (World)
Before the match, Page sings You Are My Sunshine in reference to MJF singing it on the Rosie O’Donnell Show as a child in a video that recently made the rounds. MJF freaks out and they fight around the ring with Page dropping him face first onto the apron. Page’s fingers get caught in the turnbuckle hook to make Page scream and it’s time to start in on the arm.
The armbar goes on but Page uses the free arm to start up the song again for the break. MJF goes right back to the armbar and grabs the rope like a true heel. Why is that such a lost art? The referee kicks the arm away and Page swings with the right arm instead. MJF doesn’t seem to mind as he hits a top rope double stomp to the arm and slaps on a Fujiwara armbar. Page makes the rope so it’s a hanging piledriver to put him away at 6:19.
Rating: C-. I hate to admit it, but MJF is growing on me. He’s not too bad at all in the ring and does a nice job of breaking a limb apart in an old school style. I’m starting to see the potential in what he does and while the gimmick has been done before, it’s something that works quite well because it’s a classic. I want to see him get punched in the face and that means he’s doing his job quite well.
USA – 2
World – 0
David Starr (USA) vs. Daga (World)
Daga is a replacement for Susumo Yokosuka, a Dragon Gate talent that got pulled. They start fast with the flipping and near dives into an early standoff. Daga snaps off a hurricanrana to the floor and there’s a suicide dive. Back in and a tilt-a-whirl faceplant into a rolling kick to the head gives Starr two but Daga is right back up with a series of forearms. Starr headbutts the arm for a smart counter so Daga kicks him in the face for two. The brainbuster to the knee gives Starr another near fall and Daga nails a pop up Death Valley Driver.
Starr is right on his feet…and falls straight back down in a funny spot. They slug it out with more forearms until Daga snaps off another hurricanrana for another two. Starr is right back with a DDT onto the apron and a powerbomb into a jackknife rollup gets two more. That’s enough for Starr, who grabs something like a Sharpshooter but only turns Daga half over before pulling up on the arm at the same time for the tap at 6:34.
Rating: B-. Starr is another guy who has grown on me a lot since I started watching this kind of wrestling. He has a charisma that can make whatever he does work and his in-ring abilities are quite good as well. He’s around on almost every show and I like him more every time I see him. That’s hard to do but he’s pulled it off.
USA – 3
World – 0
Darby Allin (USA) vs. Black Taurus (World)
Bonus match. It’s a creepy guy with half his face painted vs. a man in a bull mask. Taurus feels things out a bit before slapping the taste out of Allin’s mouth to send him outside. Back in and La Majistral gives Allin two and he sends Taurus outside for a quick suicide dive. Taurus shrugs it off and hits a Shining Wizard back inside, setting up an armbar.
Allin pops up and hits a bottom rope corkscrew splash, only to get his head taken off by the Rainmaker. Pete Dunne’s Bitter End gets another two but Allin backdrops him to the floor. The Coffin Drop connects but a second attempt hits knees back inside. A spinning sitout brainbuster finishes Allin at 7:18.
Rating: D+. I wasn’t feeling this one, though that might be due to me not being overly familiar with either guy. I’ve seen them both before but neither of them are top stars. It’s nice to get something different involved though and the World side needed a win after such dominance so far.
USA – 3
World – 1
Jiro Ikemen (World) vs. Rich Swann (USA)
The very energetic and flamboyant Ikemen is a replacement for Masato Yoshino. Swann is even wearing the X Division Title but it’s not on the line. Hang on though as Swann walks through the crowd to get to the ring for his own energetic entrance. Ikemen wrestles in his jacket and they dance into a handshake. Swann knocks him down with a shoulder but Ikemen pops up for a pose, including a good look at the jacket.
The flip over Ikemen sets up a dropkick to the floor, where Swann makes sure he’s ok. After the confirmation, he kicks Ikemen in the ribs and tells the crowd that he is NOT ok. They start the chase around the ring with Ikemen hiding under the ring and slipping around to the other side for a running flip dive. Back in and Ikemen slaps on a half crab but makes sure to show off the inner lining of the jacket. A rope is grabbed and Swann is back up for a series of strikes to the face, with a big kick sending Ikemen outside.
Of course that means the flip dive to follow and a frog splash gets two back inside. Swann’s missed charge in the corner lets Ikemen hit an Arabian press for two of his own. A jumping hurricanrana brings Ikenem off the top and Swann’s stepover kick to the face gets a fall so near enough that the referee seemed to have to stop early. They exchange kicks to the leg with Swann’s knee giving out to set up the Figure Four. That’s broken up so Ikemen hits a moonsault for the pin at 9:19.
Rating: B-. Another match that I enjoyed with someone I’ve never seen before. Swann is one of the smoothest talents going today so you knew he was going to be doing his part here. Ikemen’s thing with the jacket is certainly unique so it was a nice mixture here of two people who can do the goofy stuff mixed with the serious wrestling.
USA – 3
World – 2
Rascalz (USA) vs. Robbie Eagles/Adam Brooks/Australian Suicide (World)
Well ok. The Rascalz are Trey Miguel/Zack Wentz/Dezmond Xavier. The Aussies are replacing more Dragon Gate talent who couldn’t make it due to visa issues. Suicide popped up on what is probably the last episode of Lucha Underground. We get some dueling international chants with Wentz doing Jim Duggan’s pose for a funny bit. The Americans flip off the international fans and everyone goes at it to start (I’m sure you saw that coming.) with Miguel sending Brooks outside but having to deal with Eagles. Suicide comes back in for a headscissors on Miguel so it’s off to Xavier for a dropsault to send him outside.
Brooks is back in with a series of Canadian Destroyers and a Meteora to crush Wentz on the apron. The big Fosbury Flop takes everyone down but the Rascalz are right back to take over only to have Suicide come back with a shooting star (not a press because there’s no cover) onto all three of them. Back in and another Canadian Destroyer sends Wentz outside, only to have Dezmond hit his moonsault kick to the head but Brooks comes in for the save. Miguel missile dropkicks him down, setting up Wentz’ top rope double stomp for the pin on Brooks at 6:48.
Rating: C+. It was fun while it lasted but I was hoping for some more of this one. The Rascalz have been a blast since I saw them for the first time in Impact so I was happy to see them on the card. Eagles impressed me yesterday at the Supershow so this was a rather nice match all around. It’s also nice to see the wrestlers finally going somewhere with the US vs. the World theme, which hasn’t been happening yet.
USA – 4
World – 2
LAX (USA) vs. Hart Foundation (World)
That would be Teddy Hart and Davey Boy Smith Jr., meaning Hart brings a cat with him. The Harts (replacing Brooks and Eagles) have been awesome in MLW so this should be a lot of fun. Fellow Foundation member Brian Pillman Jr. is in the crowd cheering instead of walking out with them due to reasons of the Pillman Family being a little odd.
They exchange poses in the corner to start and then shake hands before jumping LAX from behind after a minute and a half of stalling. Santana’s leg gets wrapped around the post and the Hartbreaker from Smith makes it even worse. Hart gets in a suplex on Ortiz and then yells about MLW being better than Impact. They get inside for the first time and Hart hits his moonsault elbow for two as it’s Ortiz in trouble early.
Smith hits a very delayed vertical suplex and it’s off to the chinlock. The surfboard goes on and Smith even kicks Ortiz forward for a crash onto the mat. Hart snaps off a powerslam but stops to yell at the referee before slapping on a Rings of Saturn. Ortiz tells him what he can suck and the hold is broken, triggering a SUCK MY **** chant from the crowd. Ortiz finally gets over for the hot tag as everything breaks down. Santana gets sent outside and an assisted Canadian Destroyer finishes Oritz at 10:39.
Rating: B. I like both teams and they worked a much more standard formula here, which works well when you have such talented people in there. The Harts have been one of the biggest surprises of the last year as the MLW crowd loves them and they’re having some awesome matches. LAX is LAX, so this was a very nice showcase all around.
Post match, Ortiz says that somehow, someday Hart will suck his ****. Hart: “I’m not going to address the sucking the ****.” He swears a lot and thanks the fans while ripping on New York. Hart also puts over Highspots for giving him a chance. He did NOT suck anything for a job here or in any big company. Smith says this is USA vs. the World but we’re all family.
USA – 4
World – 3
Sammy Guevara (USA) vs. Puma King (World)
The announcers can’t stand Sammy, which is rather easy to understand. There’s actually a story here as Sammy went through King’s bag a few weeks ago. They tease a handshake before it’s an exchange of double middle fingers. Sammy heads outside and reaches into the cameraman’s pocket to pull out a middle finger. They trade some flips without much contact and indeed it’s more middle fingers. A double dropkick gives us a double knockdown and it’s Puma being sent outside for the first flip dive.
Back in and Puma hits a superkick but hang on as he needs a mic. Puma tells us to subscribe to his YouTube channel (a Sammy trademark) so Sammy knees him in the face. That’s enough for Sammy to say f*** Puma’s YouTube channel. Now he’s going to go do some more spots and pin him. Sammy sends him to the floor for an apron moonsault and hits a super hurricanrana for two back inside. King is fine enough to hit a pendulum powerbomb for the pin at 8:57.
Rating: D+. This one is going to depend on your tastes and that’s perfectly fine. I get Sammy’s heel stuff and after all of the back and forth technical stuff that we’ve seen tonight, it’s fine to go with some comedy. King has been entertaining every time I’ve seen him and Sammy is certainly good when he’s doing his stuff. I wasn’t wild on the YouTube/middle finger stuff over and over, but it could have been worse.
USA – 4
World – 4
Brian Cage (USA) vs. Masato Tanaka (World)
Tanaka’s shoulder and crossbody don’t work as Cage catches him for some curls. Instead the forearms in the corner work a bit better until a sliding kick to the face take Tanaka down. The corner clotheslines set up a chinlock until Tanaka fights up and grabs a DDT. Cage hits the apron superplex and a top rope elbow for two, followed by the buckle bomb. Tanaka is right back with a brainbuster for two of his own but the frog splash hits knees.
Cage’s dead lift German suplex into a Death Valley Driver gets two more. Tanaka’s rolling elbow sends Cage into the ropes for the rebound lariat and they’re both down again. They trade the hard shots to the face again until Tanaka knees him down for two off the Sliding D. A second attempt is cut off with a clothesline and Cage’s buckle bomb sets up the Drill Claw for the pin at 9:50.
Rating: C+. This was very similar to Tanaka vs. Eddie Kingston from yesterday’s show and that’s not a bad thing. It was two big, strong guys hitting each other in the head until one of them couldn’t get up. Cage winning is fine as it seals the competition for America and while it doesn’t mean much, it’s the smart way to go to wrap things up. Nice hard hitting match here, which is all it should have been.
USA – 5
World – 4
Overall Rating: C. Well that was….short. The whole thing was barely two hours and I’d kind of like more than that for a $15 show. It was perfectly watchable but felt more like a supplement to yesterday’s Supershow. There might be one or two matches in there worth seeing (the Harts vs. LAX was a nice treat) but it’s certainly not worth going out of your way to see. I’m pretty disappointed in this as there was no standout show and the time really hut things.
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